Why am I doing this blog? (a condensed version…)
I have always been a runner, and since 2004, a long-distance road racer. That is when I completed my first half marathon. As of November 2019, I have completed 16 full marathons (26.2 miles), 35 half marathons (plus one “unofficial” WDWHalf 2017), three 50km ultras, along with numerous 5km, 10km, obstacle course events, trail races and various distance road races in my lifetime. I am 35.
I have always wanted to raise money for Heart and Stroke, as it affects my family personally. My father passed away in April 2004, less than a week before my first half marathon. He was the age of 51 and died from a heart attack. He had undergone triple bypass surgery in June 1995, and this provided us 9 more years with him. He lived his life with gusto-an active individual, he was an avid weight-lifter, biker, and runner himself. He was able to compete in two Wisconsin Senior Olympics, something he made sure to do once turning 50.
Unfortunately, heart disease affects people from all backgrounds, no matter how healthy and active your lifestyle may be. Genetic makeup was my dad’s Achilles Heal, and since he was orphaned as a baby in Quebec, we never had the benefit of family history records. The disease came out of no where in 1995, and while it was treated to the best of the surgeon’s abilities, it just couldn’t be fought off.
I raised money during 2013 in his memory for American Heart Association (US) and Heart & Stroke Foundation. (Canada). I raised approximately $3,500 in total! While I fundraised, I participated in numerous races and activities throughout the year, which I kept updated on my blog. As a culminating event, I participated in my final event of this fundraising, the 2014 Walt Disney World 5km, 10km, Half AND Full Marathon-also known as the “Dopey Challenge.”
Now, that the Dopey Challenge has come and gone, the experience is sinking in. I still can’t even begin to fully appreciate this amazing event I had the chance to participate in. I have decided to continue on with my page this year, for a variety of reasons. So please….enjoy the new posts, look back on the old ones….and give feedback!
Please keep reading, commenting, liking, sharing and donating! As my dad’s favorite Disney Character Buzz Lightyear always says, “To Infinity & Beyond!”
Andrea’s Personal Bests
5km-Coaldale Family Fun Run Coaldale, Alberta. April 18th, 2015. 20:42
Travelling Beer Garden Grant Park
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 12th, 2018
20:30 (unofficial as the race was over 5km. This was what my watch hit at 5km. Race time was 20:50)
10km-Rattler Run, Medicine Hat, Alberta. April 25th, 2015. 41:30
Half Marathon-Hypothermic Half Marathon. Calgary, Alberta. February 8th,2015. 1:35.41
Full Marathon-Vancouver Full Marathon Vancouver, British Columbia. May 3rd, 2015. 3:24.56
50km Road Race-Calgary Marathon Weekend 50km. Calgary, Alberta. May 29th, 2016. 4:23.10